In spite of the development miracle that made China become the world’s second largest economy, the country says its achievement has not come without a cost.
Speaking on Thursday to a group of visiting Africans in Fuzhou, director of the Institute of Industry and Enterprise Development for the Fujian Provincial Party School Chen Mingsen said China’s rapid productivity, infrastructure development and fast economic growth has brought with it severe pollution and destruction of ecological systems.
Ten visitors from Malawi, Tanzania, Ghana and Nigeria are in China on a three-week 2016 seminar on economic development and planning analysis of cities and towns for African countries, courtesy of the Chinese government.
Chen said China’s capital city, Beijing, is particularly known for its pollution and said given a choice, many Chinese would prefer to live outside this mega city where the air is cleaner.
On his part, deputy director of Foreign Affairs in the Office of Fujian Provincial People’s Government Li Hong said among China’s polices is to ensure a win-win situation with its cooperating partners, in particular the prevention of ecosystem destruction.
Commenting on how China would protect foreign cooperatives from pollution when it seems to have lost the battle, Li said government encourages the use of non-fossil fuel such as solar energy.
He said: “We have over the years drawn lessons on how best to effect our development. Chinese leaders also suffer from the problem of severe pollution. We intend to focus on building downstream industries which pay more attention to the environment.
“If we talk about investing in other countries with little consideration to the environment, we risk losing our reputation and the best we can do is to abide by the laws.”
With massive development and a population of over 1.3 billion, China is faced with traffic jams, factory emissions and the demand for housing, other daily necessities, garbage disposals which can take its toll on the environment and health of the people.
Housing and urban rural development bureaus officer on Fujian Province Wen Xiaoyong said urban and rural planning is emphasised to avoid exacerbating the problem further, particularly with haphazard and illegal constructions.